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Classical - Released April 12, 2019 | Naxos

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Classical - Released July 13, 2018 | Naxos

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Classical - Released May 28, 2013 | Naxos

Booklet Distinctions 10 de Classica-Répertoire
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Classical - Released November 6, 2015 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica - Qobuzissime
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Classical - Released June 6, 2009 | Mirare

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released April 5, 2011 | Naxos

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Classical - Released October 8, 2012 | Passacaille

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Humberto de Oliveira's booklet notes for this terrific release by Brazilian-Swiss harpsichordist Nicolau de Figueiredo ask a question that may have occurred to keyboard music fans who've gone beyond Domenico Scarlatti and listened to the keyboard sonatas of Padre Antonio Soler, from the next Spanish generation. What of that "Padre"? If he was a cleric, why was he writing secular instrumental music, based on popular dance models? The answer turns out to be both less and more freighted with significance than it might seem. Less so because Soler was a member of the Spanish court, living and working (and dying) at El Escorial, Spain's unique combination of monastery and royal residence. He wrote keyboard music because he was expected to do so. But that is not to say that religious people did not worry about Soler's music. It touched off quite a debate, and Oliveira entertainingly recounts this little-known chapter of music history. At issue was not just the vigorous dance quality of Soler's sonatas, which are close to Scarlatti in this regard; ecclesiastical authorities also argued over their modulations, which seemed to violate the very rules of music. This debate seems to pervade the air as Figueiredo plays the sonatas, letting harmonic departures hang daringly and emphasizing dissonances within the context of a big, tough sound on his copy of a 1778 harpsichord from Tuscany. It all comes together in the work that must have been hardest of all for Spanish clerics to take, Soler's most famous work, the Fandango that closes the album. Figueiredo's towering performance, tying it all the way back to the old ground bass forms and yet looking forward to Romantic pianism, looms over earlier readings of the work, and the entire album, with excellent sound, is highly recommended to anyone looking for a place to start with Soler. Notes are in French, English, and German. © TiVo
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Classical - Released August 2, 2011 | Naxos

Booklet
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Classical - Released December 2, 2016 | Naxos

Booklet
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Classical - Released July 14, 2017 | Naxos

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Classical - Released October 7, 2014 | Naxos

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Classical - Released March 21, 2006 | Naxos

Booklet
Padre Antonio Soler was a Catalan monk who studied with Domenico Scarlatti and wrote harpsichord music that extended Scarlatti's language. Some of his 120-odd surviving sonatas follow Scarlatti closely, with compact binary forms and such effects as emulation of Spanish guitar styles. But Soler, a generation younger, struck out in new directions -- not just because he had his own musical personality, as harpsichordist Gilbert Rowland says in the notes to this disc, but because he was trying to reconcile the Scarlattian language with the limpid galant style that was on the rise. Soler's music is generally more difficult for the player than Scarlatti's music, and in places it's quite spectacular even if Soler was caught in something of a historical dead end. The present disc is one installment in a complete set of Soler harpsichord sonatas being issued by the indefatigable folks at Naxos. If it is possible to describe any harpsichord playing as in-your-face, that of British harpsichordist Gilbert Rowland qualifies, from the very first abrupt chord heard on this recording. His full-bore approach has admirers and detractors in equal measure, but there's a good case to be made that it's ideal for Soler. Consider the massive 11-minute Sonata No. 22 in D flat major on this disc, a parade of virtuoso effects that Rowland executes with aplomb on his loud, metallic Flemish instrument. The subtler style of a Pierre Hantaï would seem overwrought here. One complaint is that Rowland has not divided up Soler's output in any meaningful way; each disc in his series is much like the others. The program on each individual disc, however, makes good sense: he performs certain sonatas in pairs (probably what was intended for both Scarlatti and Soler) and offers a mix of shorter and longer, multi-movement works. The four-movement Sonata No. 62 in B flat that concludes this disc is from Mozart's era, and it's an uncomfortable hybrid indeed -- but that is not Rowland's doing. There is another complete set of Soler sonatas by harpsichordist Bob van Asperen on the Astrée label; listeners uncomfortable with Rowland's flashy readings may wish to sample that series for comparison. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2016 | Naxos

Booklet
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Classical - Released January 22, 2004 | Naxos

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Classical - Released July 28, 1999 | Naxos

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Classical - Released November 12, 2000 | Naxos

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Classical - Released July 9, 2003 | Naxos

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Classical - Released March 7, 2002 | Naxos

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Classical - Released October 28, 1997 | Naxos

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Classical - Released January 30, 1997 | Naxos

Booklet